What does “interrogation” mean under Miranda?

Law-enforcement officers must communicate the Miranda rights to suspects who are in custody and subject to interrogation. But what, exactly, does it mean to interrogate someone?

A primary definition of "interrogate" according to Merriam-Webster is “to question formally and systematically.” But interrogation in the context of Miranda is much broader: It includes express questioning about suspected criminal activity (for example, “Did you punch the victim?”), even if that questioning isn’t formal or systematic. In addition to express questions, it includes words or actions that the police should have known were reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response from the suspect.

For further discussion of what constitutes interrogation, including examples, see Do officers have to read the Miranda rights before talking to a suspect?

Talk to a Lawyer

Start here to find criminal defense lawyers near you.

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you
DEFEND YOUR RIGHTS

Talk to a Defense attorney

We've helped 95 clients find attorneys today.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you